Disney darling Selena Marie Gomez debuted her third solo studio album titled Rare earlier today. Vastly different from her albums before, but incredibly true to her public persona, Selena keeps it remarkably candid over the thirteen tracks.
Already it seems that the fairly intense marketing lead-up to the album's release has paid off, with Rare claiming the top spot on the iTunes all genre chart (per Headline Planet) and claiming the number one spot for albums on multiple countries' iTunes charts (per several Selena Gomez fan accounts online).
On the album's list of accolades as well, is the fact that it has spawned the 27-year-old's first number one single, Lose You To Love Me.
LA Times has called Rare her "first great pop album" despite her having five other albums and one compilation in her discography, and I am inclined to agree. Even with a string of Hot 100 pop hits to her name, Rare stands out among everything else. Despite a few clumsily penned lyrics (minor cringe factor), Selena's outlook on love, self and life have undoubtedly matured, as has her sound, which is clear on each song.
With synth sounds and breathy lyrics, many songs on the album are neatly packaged radio-ready songs, which belie that depth of emotion Selena G explores. Among trite lyrics about dancing again, and the usual repetition that pop songs are known for, Selena touches on the stories and secrets about her mental and physical health, as well as her relationship with that famous pop star ex that shall not be named, that kept her in many headlines for the last few years.
Particular gems on the album are the title track Rare, the empowering Look At Her Now, the sassy, satirical Ring (which appears to mimic Taylor Swift's playful Blank Space),
Crowded Room and Fun.
Ultimately, the almost five year wait has paid off in an incredible effort from a singer more renowned for her acting and philanthropy. I applaud the ambitious blend of raw honesty, synth beats, and confessional lyrics, and give the album a 7/10.